There is a possible conflict of interest
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Groninger Internet Courant, the research agency Berenschot must halt its investigation into the economic results of the Top Dutch campaign. The investigation was ordered by the three Northern provinces, to assess the impact of Top Dutch, which was set up to try and bring more multi-national businesses to Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe.
Following research by the news outlets RTV Noord, RTV Drenthe, and the Omrop Fryslân, there is a business relationship between Berenschot and Initio, who have led the advertising and marketing effort for Top Dutch. Owner and director of Initio, Gerard de Boer, previously worked for Berenschot.
According to Initio’s website, they were responsible for the “campaign concept, online strategy, and activation” of Top Dutch.
The councils of state for each province have been informed by the three local news outlets, which has led to this decision to sever ties with Berenschot.
The research bureau had been asked to look into the economic impact of Top Dutch; between them the three provinces have pushed over a million euros into the campaign. Initially, Gerard de Boer and entrepreneurs Stef van der Ziel and Niels Palmers all led the campaign, but their co-operation failed due to an internal disagreement. The research that Berenschot was undertaking was intended to look deeply into the effectiveness of the campaign, and the presentations made by Initio, which was still involved.
Top Dutch was initially set up to try and tempt Tesla to the Northern Netherlands (the eventual ‘giga-factory’ will be built near Berlin). After this, the campaign moved towards trying to attract other businesses and industries. It is not yet known if the research into Top Dutch will continue under the direction of another agency.
Image via TopDutch